/West Indies v England ODI predictions: Top run-scorer, wicket-taker and series score

West Indies v England ODI predictions: Top run-scorer, wicket-taker and series score

 

Eoin Morgan’s England face West Indies in the Caribbean (Picture: Getty)

With less than 100 days to go until the start of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, tournament favourites and hosts England will be hoping to maintain their momentum against West Indies in the Caribbean.

The Test team may have been beaten but another ODI series victory – potentially England’s 16th since the last World Cup – would help savage the trip and ensure Eoin Morgan’s side stay on the right path ahead of a monumental summer.

England, of course, crashed out of the 2015 World Cup at the group stage, having lost to – amongst other teams – Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

But Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss has helped transform England into the most formidable team on the planet in the last four years. Going into the Windies series, England have won 41 of their last 54 ODIs.

TOP RUN-SCORER

Joe Root (England)

 

 

Joe Root scored a century in the warm-up match (Picture: Getty)

West Indies boast a number of talented and exciting batsmen – Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and Shai Hope will all expect to make at least one substantial score this series – but England’s batting order is a league above.

Openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow and Test captain Joe Root are all capable of ending the series as top run-scorer but we marginally favour Root, who can bat around his more attacking team-mates and is the most consistent batter in England’s one-day team.

Much has been made of Root’s persevered dip in form but the Yorkshireman finished the Test series with a ton, before also reaching three figures in the emphatic warm-up victory at Cave Hill last weekend.

Root’s numbers in one-day internationals – almost 5,000 runs at an average of more than 51 – are scarily good and he remains a vital player in England’s one-day squad. The freedom of playing and not captaining can also only benefit his batting.

TOP WICKET-TAKER

Adil Rashid (England)

 

 

Adil Rashid is an integral part of England’s one-day squad (Picture: Getty)

The Windies did not see the best of Rashid in the Test series, with Yorkshire’s leg-spinner dropped after the first match in which he failed to take a wicket in 26 overs of bowling.

The break came at an opportune time, however, as Rashid flew home to attend the birth of his second child, spending ten days with his family. He returned ahead of last weekend’s warm-up match, taking 2-21 from seven overs, and can continue to be a key weapon in England’s white-ball attack over the next few weeks.

Rashid, recalled to the side in 2015, is now England’s highest-ranked bowler at No. 8 in the ICC rankings. A genuine threat in the middle overs, the 31-year-old has developed into England’s most potent one-day bowler over the last three years and should find conditions favourable in the Caribbean.



Adil Rashid on bowling to Chris Gayle

‘It’s exciting. It’s a challenge for everybody, we have people who hit the ball a long way too. It’s exciting for me, I can put my game plans into place, use my variations and being clever with what you bowl. I’m looking forward to it.

‘There are obviously some concerns [about bowling to Gayle] but you have to believe in yourself, you’ve got to have confidence. You have to go out and stick to your strengths and be confident that you can get him out.

‘He’s only human. We’re all human and make mistakes. So it only takes one ball for him to make a mistake and get out. It’s that kind of mindset that we need.’

ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR…

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

 

 

Chris Gayle will retire from ODIs after the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Having announced he will retire from ODIs following the World Cup, chances to see the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’, in this format at least, are now at a premium.

Gayle will finish his ODI career with close to 300 appearances and more than 10,000 runs. He has notched up 23 centuries in the format, with his career-best of 215 the sixth highest ODI individual score of all time.

His powers may be waning but if the 39-year-old performs anywhere near to his best, the Caribbean will be treated to a spectacle and the England bowlers will need to run for cover.



Chris Gayle on retiring from ODIs

‘I’m looking to draw the line – or should I say cut the string – let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand.

‘It is a big year for me. I hope 2019 can finish for me on a great note.’

SERIES SCORE

West Indies 1-4 England

England’s form since their disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign has been remarkable. Not only have Morgan’s side won 76% of their ODI matches, but they have set the record for the highest team total, before going on to break it against last summer.

The Windies, on the other hand, last won an ODI series in 2014 and have been beaten twice by Bangladesh in the last 12 months. A youthful and raw squad has yet to realise their potential in one-day cricket but, in Jason Holder, they have a captain more than capable of steering the ship.

But this is England’s best-ever one-day side and, with a respected and inspirational captain at the helm, they will not rest on their laurels.

As Morgan said this week: ‘Just because we’ve become No 1 in the world we haven’t changed anything. We play like we’re No 2 and we’re chasing somebody. We’re always trying to chase and better ourselves.’

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